Move over, 6 Million Dollar Man, and make room for the 7.5 Million Dollar Moral Robot. The Office of Naval Research is doling out $7.5 million in grants to researchers at Tufts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Brown, Yale, and Georgetown “to explore how to build a sense of right and wrong and moral consequence into autonomous robotic systems.”
UPDATE: A related ..
The accusations of sexual misconduct against an as-of-yet-officially unnamed prominent moral and political philosopher (previously here and here) are no longer being made anonymously. They are now being advanced by a friend of one of the alleged victims, a Yale 2010 graduate named Emma Sloan. Ms. Sloan is soliciting funds for the legal case of her friend at this sit..
Jeremy Waldron is leaving Oxford to return full-time to New York University (via Leiter), opening up Oxford’s famed Chichele Professorship in Social and Political Theory. Before Waldron, the chair was held by G.A. Cohen, Charles Taylor, John Plamenatz, Isaiah Berlin, and G.D.H. Cole. Who will be next?
– Not happening. Yet.
Transcendence is the recently released sci-fi movie the plot of which involves uploading the mind of a scientist (played by Johnny Depp) to a computer system. You can watch the trailer here, and then you can head over to OUP Blog and watch a few brief videos of Nick Bostrom (Oxford) discussing the movie and the plausibility of uploading, whole ..
The notion of incarceration goes back to the beginning of philosophy, with the imprisonment and execution of Socrates—and the idea, expressed by his student Plato in the Republic, that we are all imprisoned by the cave of our own reflections but don’t realize it. “ face a lot of the issues ordinary people face, but in a heightened condition. We’re all doing life in ..
It is that time of the year when the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, the semester is ending, and the students are asking, “I know I missed a lot of classes and didn’t complete some of my assignments but I was wondering if there is, you know, anything I can do now to get a better grade.” It is tempting to recommend “invent and use time machine.” But perhaps..
“I’m sorry Bentham, but the thing-in-itself is bit harder to depict than a goddman panopticon!”
Well done, Existential Comics.
Stan Sloane: Welcome back everyone to Mile High Stadium. We’re here near the end of a very tense fourth quarter, with the score tied 31-31 and the Denver Broncos on the march against the stout defense of the Chieftains of Kansas City. I’m Stan Sloane – former Pro Bowl QB – here in the booth with my partner Marcus Aurelius, Last Good Emperor of Rome. Marcus, it’s bee..
“We’re just trying to tweak the mammalian system a little bit to do what a lot of other species do naturally.” Those are the words of Lloyd Klickstein of Novartis, the Swiss drug company collaborating with scientists at the University of Kansas Medical Center who will soon begin injecting deaf study subjects with a “harmless virus containing a gene that should trigg..
The Foundational Research Institute says that it “brings together researchers from diverse fields to examine how humanity can best reduce suffering in the future. We draw on insights from artificial intelligence, technology, anthropic reasoning, international relations, sociology, public policy, ethics, and many other disciplines.” Its website seems to be mainly the..
create a repository of the best arguments for any idea, where emotional manipulation and flowery rhetoric are removed, leaving only the core statements, arranged in a network. So the next time a discussion touches a difficult i..
This is a very different kind of Game of Thrones spoiler. Francis Schmidt, associate professor of art and animation at Bergen Community College in New Jersey, was suspended without pay for a photo he shared on Google+, where it was seen by several colleagues. The photo? A picture of his daughter wearing a Game of Thrones t-shirt with the words “I will take what is m..
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has made a senior offer to Ned Markosian, currently professor of philosophy at Western Washington University. Markosian works in metaphysics.
Last month The Guardian published a couple of pieces on mental illness in academia. The first was a blog post on the “culture of acceptance” of mental health issues in academia (in which “acceptance” is meant to be understood as something like “neglect”). A follow-up article remarked on a study of 14,000 university employees that showed “growing stress levels among ..
We all think we can teach politics, but there is some almost tragic sense in which it can only be learned… by the mistakes you make…. You can go to any number of lectures about what politics is like but it doesn’t survive contact with the enemy…. It’s not a seminar room. It’s not an exercise in persuasion…. Politics is an alternative to war, but you live it ..
The Manchester Centre for Political Theory (MANCEPT) hosts several events in political philosophy and theory, including a large annual conference each fall, the MANCEPT Workshops. One of the panels at the upcoming conference is entitled “No Reparation, Without Preparation!” and aims to provide preparatory assistance for the plaintiffs in a proposed lawsuit against t..
Felicia Nimue Ackerman, a philosopher at Brown, has had over 200 letters to the editor published in the New York Times, The New Yorker reports. “She responds to articles on a variety of topics—ageism, fatism, ‘society’s tendency to medicalize virtually everything’—but her underlying interest is in personal freedom.” She was also profiled in an earlier article in the..
Blackwell’s bookshop in Oxford has sold its most expensive book ever: a two volume edition of the complete works of Plato, in the original ancient Greek, published in 1513. The price? £75,000. The mystery is: who bought it? The only clue the article gives is that the purchase was made by “an overseas institution.”
Anthony Brueckner, a professor of philosophy at UC Santa Barbara, has died. Professor Brueckner worked mainly in epistemology. He is the author of Essays on Skepticism and many articles (I recall a time when it seemed like every issue of Analysis had at least one article by him in it). Those interested may care to read an article Brueckner wrote with John Martin Fis..
There’s lots of information and analysis in the AAUP’s Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, which was released today. Find it here.
Nancy Snow (Marquette University) has won a $2.6 million grant from the Templeton Religious Trust for a project called “The Self, Motivation, and Virtue.” More info here and on the Marquette Philosophy Department’s home page.
A pride of lions, a murmuration of starlings, a dazzle of zebras, an eloquence of lawyers, a pack of lies — the English language has some unusual names for collectives. Sometimes the collective names apply only when the members of the groups are engaged in certain actions, for example, a group of ducks swimming is a raft of ducks, while a group of ducks flying is a..
David Bourget and David Chalmers have announced a new service at the PhilJobs website called “New Appointments in Philosophy,” through which people can post information about the jobs they’ve obtained or the people they’ve hired, as well as search through the data. In an announcment at the APA website, Bourget, Chalmers, and APA Executive Director Amy Ferrer write, ..
John Searle was recently bestowed with a lifetime achievement hat by SCALP (Skull Covering Association for Lively Philosophers). SCALP, one of the oldest philosophical societies, is known for its unusual choices, and it lived up to its reputation this time with its selection of a deerstalker, which Searle is sporting in this photo. Previous awards include a shower c..
A recent argument from David Killoren (Coastal Carolina) has convinced me to shift the direction of the blog. He writes:
Case 1: You’re looking at the Daily Nous banner logo. Case 2: You’re looking at a hair salon’s logo circa 1986. How can you distinguish these experiences? A skeptical problem.
I have tangled privately with this for some time, but now it is time to..
William Harper, a philosopher at the Rotman Institute of Philosophy at Western University (London, Ontario), and one of the few philosophers (I’m assuming) to have an asteroid named after him, is the recipient of the 2014 Patrick Suppes Prize in Philosophy of Science. The philosophy of science prize, which includes a $10,000 honorarium, is awarded once every three y..
This informative and well-designed poster illustrates the work habits and daily routines of a number of famous “creatives,” including Kant. If it is to be believed, Kant wrote from 6-7am. Wait, what? One hour a day? Well if you add up enough days…
How about philosophers today? When do you typically get your writing done? Answer in the poll below, picking the on..